KARACHI: The Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) and the Patients Behbud Society for AKUH (PBS) recently announced their partnership with Eli Lilly Pakistan Pvt. Ltd. (Lilly) to provide access to targeted therapy treatment of cancer patients with limited financial means. Ms Shagufta Hassan, Chief Executive Officer, AKUH, Ammad Siddiqui, GM, Lilly, and Nadeem Mustafa Khan, President, PBS, signed and exchanged the Memorandum of Understanding. Other senior officials from both sides were also present to witness the ceremony. Under this partnership, Lilly would support 60% of the cost of Lilly’s medicine for gastric, lung, and colorectal cancer of all eligible patients from the AKUH.
While addressing the audience, the officials stated that according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, every year, over 100,000 people were diagnosed with various types of cancers in Pakistan, with breast, lung, and colorectal cancers being the most commonly diagnosed in the country. The AKUH’s Patient Welfare Program and the PBS support for ‘zakat mushtehiq’ patients would cover the remaining cost of treatment. This initiative would provide many patients with hope for treatment and improve their quality of life.
Ammad Siddiqui, General Manager, Lilly Pakistan, said, “Lilly has a presence in Pakistan that goes back over half a century, and we remain committed to bringing our innovations for patients in Pakistan. Lilly has always pushed the boundaries of science to make conditions that are incurable today, treatable tomorrow, with a focus on five therapeutic areas – diabetes, cancer, immunology, pain, and neurodegeneration. We are committed to bringing our innovative treatments to people who need them by ensuring patients have access to our medicines. – a commitment that is exemplified by this very initiative,” he added.
Speaking at the ceremony, Shagufta Hassan said, “The AKUH endeavors to provide access to our health care services for needy patients who may not, on account of financial constraints, be able to afford our regular hospital charges. Patients who receive financial support receive the same level of care as all other patients. Last year alone, we spent almost PKR 3 billion on welfare programs. Our oncologists and other experts aim to provide the best possible treatment to patients, and we plan to increase our capacity to treat more patients.”
Nadeem Mustafa Khan appreciated Eli Lilly’s support and said, “It is indeed heartening to see our partners like Eli Lilly coming forward to help needy patients by supporting for expensive cancer drugs. The more support we collect, it will enable us to serve more patients with affordability challenges, with ever more ‘barakat’ to the givers of this charity.”
A program like this partnership with the AKUH & Lilly, could help cancer doctors reduce this gap in treatment outcomes by providing highly effective drugs for their patients who might otherwise not had been able to benefit from them.”